Soon after we reported that a spotted lanternfly had made an appearance on an Upper West Side terrace – hoping and believing it would be an isolated incident – emails and comments describing similar sightings started pouring in.
People reported seeing them all over the Upper West Side.
One of our readers – ‘Mark Says Hi!’ – tells us that after leaving his daughter’s swim class this past Sunday, he saw one on the sidewalk behind the pool building (between 97th and 98th Streets on Columbus Ave).
After he took the picture below, “it flew right at my daughter and I,” he said. “It had beautiful red wings tucked under the gray ones shown in the pic.”
In this video – taken by @michelekraussart from her apartment on 90th and Riverside Drive – it actually looks like a spotted lanternfly is waving at her. Maybe it’s excited about this newly acquired infamy.
Sharing the news on Instagram, we heard from people who spotted them in Astoria, Pennsylvania (where they were first spotted in 2014), Connecticut, and again throughout the city.
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One Instagram user said “These are horrible! They’ve destroyed the trees at my in-laws place in PA. There’s one now but there will be thousands later. Super invasive little beasts!”
And this is why it’s recommended to kill these things at first site. The invasive spotted lanternfly, which hails from China, Vietnam and India, is known to kill trees, plants and all types of crops, and several counties in New Jersey – where they’re really having a field day – are actually under a quarantine because of the pests.
Gothamist reports that one person saw about twenty spotted lanternflies in Brighton Beach over the weekend, and on August 10, Manhattan Bird Alert took a bird-break to report a sighting by the Central Park Pool.
Over the weekend we saw this SPOTTED LANTERNFLY by the Central Park Pool. It is an invasive pest, dangerous to trees and plants. If you see one, kill it—as we did—and report it to the NYS DEC. https://t.co/8Hujll7C9t pic.twitter.com/AhX0FeoM97
— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) August 10, 2021
Here’s a 2018 video (and warning) from New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, which describes how easily they can spread and what to keep your eyes peeled for.
But definitely kill it first.